Checklist Of A Leader

The school year has ended and so banquets have taken place, state convention is over and regional or area rallies have happened. This means new officer teams have been elected. Whether you are a returning officer or a new officer, I hope you find this checklist beneficial. Every one of us has the potential to be an astonishing leader. We all have the opportunity to change the world. What sets some apart from others is how they choose to use the gift. Becoming a leader is not something that happens overnight. It comes from years of mistakes and failures as well as overcoming and accomplishments. Even the most put-together leaders are still learning and growing every day. So whether you are an officer, manager, mentor, coach or a leader without a title here is a checklist that will ensure growth as a leader.
1)Passion
“Go big or go home.” It’s a cliche saying, but there is a reason it’s a cliche. When it comes to having the passion for an organization or activity, it is important that you are doing it with your full heart. If you’re not doing it with your full heart, then why are you doing it? Great leaders have a passion for what they are involved in. If a teacher comes into class hating the subject they teach, the students are going to hate it as well. On the other hand, if a teacher enters class on fire with passion, then the students are more willing to listen and participate. To inspire others, leaders have to have passion.

How to improve: 1) Rethink your priorities. If something is not important enough to devote your whole heart to it, maybe it’s not that important.

2)Inspiration
When you are a leader, you are a role model and inspire people, whether you mean to or not. That means people are watching your every move and every decision. If you’re going to be a role model be a good one. When you have the chance to influence someone’s life by inspiring them, the impact should be positive. As a leader, you should be someone that people want to look up to and replicate their actions after. Even if you are a role model or inspiration for anyone, it is a necessity for you to also have inspirations. Whether it’s a religious inspiration, family member, teacher, friend, boss, or whoever continue to look to them for wisdom and guidance. Great leaders follow greater leaders.

How to improve:  1)Always be a positive representation for your organization, your school and most importantly yourself.  2) Replicate your actions after the people you look up to because people are doing the same to you.

3)Confidence
Confidence is one of the qualities that can set you apart from others in a crowd. You might be nervous inside, but if you can get in front of people and be confident then that will leave a bigger impression on the audience. When you act like you know what you are doing people are more likely to pay attention and listen to you. It is easy to confuse confidence with skill. People will say “I want to be a more confident public speaker.” When what they really need is to develop better public speaking skills rather than being more confident. Make sure you know the difference, and you have confidence but you are not overconfident.It is essential to find the balance between confidence and humility.
How to improve: 1) Scientist have shown that doing the superman pose before giving a speech or an anxiety-inducing task, will give you more self-confidence.
Some examples of how power posing can actually boost your confidence
4)Humility
Having humility is usually looked over when describing a leader. Because no one wants to admit they made mistakes and that they need help. This trait, though is vital to being a successful leader. Humility gives you the power to open up to more ideas. You are willing to listen to feedback on how to improve and fix something. You learn from your mistakes and gain wisdom to pass on to other leaders. Humility gives you the chance to self-reflect on yourself on how you can change yourself to be a better leader. Humility leads to being humble, and most people prefer a humble leader than a hotshot leader.

How to improve: 1) Realize you make mistakes because everyone does. 2) Seek opinions and feedback from other leaders. 3) Be willing to take criticism

5)Uniqueness
Every individual is different. Some may have more in common with others, but no one identical. I’ve mentioned before look up to role models and mock them in their decisions and actions, but DO NOT copy everything they do. They may be successful and knowledgeable and as we may view them as perfect. To get to that position they made their own choices, they applied suggestions from others, but they found their own way to success. Follow their guidance but do not follow their every step. As a leader you want to be different than everyone else, you want to stand out. You are unique and do not get rid of that because you are a leader.

How to improve: 1) Embrace differences. Everyone has little things that make them different than others. 2) Instead of pointing out the differences and criticizing them, encourage the uniqueness; in yourself and others.

6)Respect
Respect is something everyone should possess, leader or not. Respecting differences, ideas, decisions, actions, perspectives, it is all part of common courtesy. As a leader respect is possibly the most important aspect. If you respect others then that will give you a better image along with being a great human. When you respect teammates and figures of authority they are more willing to work with you and cooperate with you. To gain respect you must respect others. No one is going to treat you with kindness if you don’t treat anyone with kindness. In a leader’s view respect has two meanings. Respect others because it’s how you were raised and, to gain respect from others treat them how you want to be treated.

How to improve: 1) Respect everyone. Whether it is listening to someone with the exact opposite beliefs and not telling them how wrong they are, or saying please and thank you. 2)Respect will get you long ways in life.

7)Communication
If you’ve attended any leadership or team development workshop you’ll recognize this saying; “Communication is key.” The reason they say this is it is honestly the key to success in any organization or business. Without communication, it is true chaos. Plans can get misinterpreted, people could miss an important meeting, and confusion blossoms. The lack of communication can also cause conflict between members and leaders. So whether it’s making a group chat or personally speak to every individual involved in the activity, it is essential you have a way of communication.

How to improve: 1) Make sure everyone that needs to come in contact with you has a way of communicating with you. 2) Always hear everyone’s opinion.

8)Wisdom
“My advice will always be based on true knowledge and ripened with wisdom.” Wisdom is something that comes from years of experience. Years of disappointments, challenges, lessons, accomplishments, and triumphs. The wisdom you accumulate can be beneficial in multiple ways. It can help in problem-solving, giving advice, helping others, making decisions. While most of the leaders that are reading this aren’t really old enough to have decades of wisdom. Most have learned from mistakes and trails that they have faced. The knowledge you have picked up in your years have made you into the person you are. Use the wisdom you have to help advise fellow leaders and fellow and to guide yourself.

How to improve: 1) Learn from your mistakes, don’t dwell on that you failed, rather take it as an opportunity to learn. 2) Always take every chance given to you to try something new.

These are just some of the qualities that are looked for in a leader. Every leader has their own combination of strengths and weaknesses. Just because you may not possess some qualities that are associated with being a leader, doesn’t mean you aren’t. Not everyone should be the same. As long as you have a passion for what you do and learn from your struggles you are a great leader.

Share this article with leaders you look up to and the leaders in your life.

Lisandra Mejia

COO & Editor

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